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Consumer and Small Business Advocates Oppose OCC’s Plan to Offer Fintech Lending Charters

Today, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced its intention to offer national charters to financial technology firms, which could severely undermine state oversight and state consumer protection laws that protect consumers and small business owners from abusive financial products and practices. The OCC is accepting comments on its framework until January 15, 2017.

GSA Auctions the Cotton Annex Building

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) begins the public sale for Cotton Annex building in an effort to find a new owner for the property while creating the greatest possible value for taxpayers.

Institute Set to Raise Membership Rates for First Time in a Generation

For the first time in more than 25 years, the National Institute of Building Sciences will increase annual membership dues for its individual members, beginning February 1, 2017. This nominal increase in dues will adjust for inflation, yet it still remains in line, or below, the membership fees of other building industry-related organizations.

GAF donates roofing to Habitat for Humanity for sixth consecutive year

The company will continue to donate roofing materials to Habitat for Humanity builds across the U.S. and Canada where GAF factory-certified contractors volunteer their roofing installation services. GAF, along with their GAF Master Elite and Certified Contractors, contributed to nearly 280 Habitat for Humanity homes as part of the 2015-2016 partnership

New Technology Venture Launched to Facilitate LEED Certification, Measure Performance and Benchmark Green Building...

A new technology company, Arc Skoru Inc., officially launched today by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). This new venture will be the official host for Arc, a state-of-the-art digital platform available at arcskoru.com. Arc allows any project — whether a single building, a community or an entire city — to measure improvements and benchmark against itself and projects around it.

CONSTRUCTION SPENDING INCREASES IN OCTOBER AS RESIDENTIAL AND PUBLIC GAINS OFFSET DROP IN PRIVATE...

Construction spending was mixed in October as a rebound in residential and public categories outweighed a downturn in most private nonresidential segments, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials noted, however, that public investments in infrastructure remain down compared to last year while private-sector demand should remain robust amid continued economic growth.

Making a Difference Locally and Globally: ULI’s Latest Annual Report Documents Accomplishments in Creating...

The Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) global efforts to create communities that are sustainable, prosperous and livable are documented in the Institute’s latest annual report, which includes accomplishments during fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016).

Environment America Launches Campaign to Block Attacks on Solar Power

With solar power on the rise around the country, a national network of fossil fuel and utility-backed organizations have joined forces to put the brakes on this fast growing pollution-free energy resource. Trade groups and think tanks backed by deep pocketed anti-clean energy ideologues and fossil interests are bankrolling campaigns, promoting model legislation and media campaigns to provide cover for anti-solar campaigns across the country, said a new report released today by Environment America Research & Policy Center.

FHA LOAN LIMITS TO RISE IN 2017

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today announced the agency's new schedule of loan limits, and due to an increase in housing prices, most areas in the country will see a slight increase in loan limits in 2017 These loan limits are effective for case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2017, and will remain in effect through the end of the year

NCRC Statement on Selection of Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary Nominee

Today, in reaction to the news that Steve Mnuchin will be President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as Secretary of the Department of the Treasury, and subsequent remarks from Mr. Mnuchin, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition’s (NCRC) President and CEO John Taylor made the following statement

HUD PUBLISHES SMALL AREA FAIR MARKET RENT FINAL RULE

On November 16, HUD published in the Federal Register a final rule regarding the use of small area fair market rents (SAFMR) in certain metropolitan areas, and replacing HUD’s existing 50th percentile fair market rent (FMR) policy for the Housing Choice Voucher (voucher) program. SAFMRs reflect rent standards in zip code areas while traditional FMRs reflect a single rent standard for an entire metropolitan region.

New ULI Publication Explores How Access to Healthy Food Creates Real Estate Value and...

Access to healthy food, community farms, chef-driven restaurants, and innovative food retail concepts is increasingly being incorporated into real estate developments as an amenity that adds appeal and value, according to a new publication from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Cultivating Development: Trends and Opportunities at the Intersection of Food and Real Estate.

HUD SECRETARY CASTRO ANNOUNCES PUBLIC HOUSING TO BE SMOKE-FREE

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro today announced that public housing developments in the U.S. will now be required to provide a smoke-free environment for their residents. In an address to local public housing officials, residents and public health professionals in Boston, Secretary Castro said HUD's new rule will provide resources and support to more than 3,100 Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to implement required smoke-free policies over the next 18 months.

Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 9.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 25, 2016. This week's results included an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday.

NeighborWorks America invites qualified community development nonprofits to apply for a share of $26.5...

NeighborWorks America announced that the application period is open beginning November 28 for one-time grants to revitalize distressed communities suffering from the direct and/or indirect effects of the foreclosure crisis. Projects proposed should support and further existing multi-faceted, place-based initiatives working to transform communities.

December 6 Workshop: Find Out What to Do When Building Control Systems Get Hacked

Next week's workshop, sponsored by the National Institute of Building Sciences, will answer the question of what to do when building control systems have been hacked or taken over by ransomware. Intended for building owners, facility managers, engineering, physical security, information assurance and other professionals involved with the design, deployment and operation of building control systems, the “Your Building Control Systems Have Been Hacked, Now What? Workshop,” to be held Tuesday, December 6, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, will provide a combination of classroom learning modules and hands-on laboratory exercises to help attendees learn how to detect, contain, eradicate and recover from a cyber event.

Pending Home Sales Crawl Forward in October

Pending home sales were mostly unchanged in October, but did squeak out a meager gain for the second consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors

Consumers and Realtors® Show Greater Interest in Smart Home Technologies, Certifications

As smart homes become more popular among consumers, buyers and sellers are showing greater interest in those homes and smart-home technologies and Realtors® in a certification to acknowledge their experience and expertise in those features

SEIA Welcomes Cypress Creek Renewables to its Board of Directors

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, announced today that Cypress Creek Renewables, a leading provider of local solar farms, has joined SEIA’s board of directors.

CONSTRUCTION EMPLOYMENT FALLS OR STAGNATES IN ONE-THIRD OF NATION’S METRO AREAS BETWEEN OCTOBER 2015...

Construction employment declined or was stagnant in one-third of metro areas between October 2015 and October 2016 amid diminishing public-sector investments in infrastructure and other civil works, according to a new analysis of federal employment data released today by the Associated General Contractors of America.

HHS awards $17 million to support innovations to strengthen the Federal Home Visiting Program

Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $17 million in funding for the Federal Home Visiting Programs in 13 states. This funding will support Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Federal Home Visiting Program awardees in the development, implementation, and evaluation of innovations to strengthen and improve delivery of coordinated and comprehensive high-quality voluntary services to eligible families

FTC and Department of Justice Submit Comment to FERC on Need for Careful Market...

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division have submitted a comment to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding market power in wholesale electricity markets. The comment responds to a FERC request for comments on how it assesses market power with respect to mergers and electricity sales at market-based rates, which it evaluates under the Federal Power Act (FPA).

FHFA INCREASES FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC CONFORMING LOAN LIMITS FOR 2017

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced November 23 that the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages obtained by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will increase in 2017. This is the first time FHFA has increased the conforming loan limit since 2006.

This Giving Tuesday, AWEA will harness the Power of Wind to help veterans find...

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is putting out a call this #GivingTuesday to its grassroots network, Power of Wind, asking for support communicating the economic success of wind power while also aiding veterans transitioning back to the civilian workforce.

New Home Sales Down 1.9 Percent in October

Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 1.9 percent in October from a downwardly revised September reading to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

HUD APPROVES FAIR HOUSING AGREEMENT WITH ORANGE COUNTY LANDLORDS RESOLVING HOUSING DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINTS

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced today a Voluntary Compliance/Conciliation Agreement with the owners of an Orange County, California property and their management company, G & K Management, resolving allegations that they violated the Fair Housing Act by denying the reasonable accommodation requests of two women with disabilities.

Purchase Applications Drive Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 5.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 18, 2016.

Statement from Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition,...

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) is committed to working with the next Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary to ensure the country’s poorest families have decent, safe and affordable homes. HUD oversees federal rental assistance programs that serve over 5 million of the country’s lowest income households, as well as administers tens of billions of dollars in community development, disaster recovery, and homeless assistance funding, enforces fair housing laws and acts as one of the largest mortgage insurers in the world.

HUD AND CENSUS BUREAU REPORT NEW RESIDENTIAL SALES IN OCTOBER

Sales of new single-family houses in October 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 563,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is 1.9 percent (±13.1%)* below the revised September rate of 574,000, but is 17.8 percent (±16.9%) above the October 2015 estimate of 478,000

NCOA Awards Grants to 15 New Organizations to Become Benefits Enrollment Centers

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) has awarded grants to 15 new organizations to become part of a growing national network of Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) that provide person-centered assistance to low-income seniors and younger adults with disabilities to enroll them in programs that help pay for health care, prescriptions, food, utilities, and more.

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Consumers and Realtors® Show Greater Interest in Smart Home Technologies, Certifications

As smart homes become more popular among consumers, buyers and sellers are showing greater interest in those homes and smart-home technologies and Realtors® in a certification to acknowledge their experience and expertise in those features

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Consumer and Small Business Advocates Oppose OCC’s Plan to Offer Fintech...

Today, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced its intention to offer national charters to financial technology firms, which could severely undermine state oversight and state consumer protection laws that protect consumers and small business owners from abusive financial products and practices. The OCC is accepting comments on its framework until January 15, 2017.